Wednesday, August 1, 2012

God's Speaking: Are You Listening?

I have been meditating a bit over the message revealed through the past few days worth of Daily Mass Readings. I cannot help but notice how these particular readings are relevant to our nation right now, and the warning it contains should not be overlooked.

On Monday, the readings were from Jeremiah 13: 1-11 and Deuteronomy 32:18-21.  Toward the end of Jeremiah 13 God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, says to the people of Israel words which could very well be applied to our own nation:

"This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. For as the loincloth clings to the loins of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen. " - Jeremiah 13:10-11.

The second reading from Deuteronomy concludes with these words, "They have stirred me to jealousy with what is no god; they have provoked me with their idols. So I will stir them to jealousy with those who are no people; I will provoke them with a foolish nation." - Deuteronomy 32: 21

On Tuesday, the readings almost seem to be a response by the people to Monday's readings.  It begins with Jeremiah 14: 17-22 in which the people say, 

"We acknowledge our wickedness, O LORD, and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against thee. Do not spurn us, for thy name's sake; do not dishonor thy glorious throne; remember and do not break thy covenant with us." Jeremiah 14:20-21

Followed by the second reading from Psalms 79:8-9, 11, 13 in which the people continue:
"Do not remember against us the iniquities of our forefathers; let thy compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for thy name's sake!" - Psalms 79:8-9

Finally, today's first readings seems to be God's answer to the pleas of His people, assuring them that if they are truly repentant He will reach out his hand to save them.  The first reading is out of Jeremiah 15: 10, 16-21. In it we hear, "Therefore thus says the LORD: "If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, says the LORD. I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless." - Jeremiah 15:19-21

The second reading is from Psalm 59: 2-4, 10-11, 17-18, out of which we hear the chorus of the people, 
"O my Strength, I will sing praises to thee, for thou, O God, art my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love " - Psalm 59:18.  

God is warning us that if we continue to ignore Him, continue to turn away from Him, He will allow us to be overcome and defeated, brought low and humbled.  However, He is also promising us that if we will turn back to Him and remember Him, He will restore us and defend us from those who seek to harm us.  Our nation stands at a crossroads, and we have a decision to make.  Will we listen, or will we continue to ignore Him?

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